Rainy Photos

Dew Drop Web
Monday, February 7, 2005
Dew Drop Web

One of the things I like about taking my images one at a time and preparing them for this site, is the opportunity it gives me to think a little more about each subject. When I saw this web I took an entire roll of film because of the beauty of the dew, like pearls on a string. Now, while preparing it for the site, I started to think about why the drops of dew stayed there. The water should run down to the lowest point, collect and drip to the ground but the web is covered with it.

I realized that not all of the web was sticky, the spider walks on the radial threads, which are not sticky. The concentric threads are where the sticky part is. (Apparently it is even more complex than that, There are seven different kinds of silk that spiders can spin but that is a little off topic.) The interesting thing about the sticky thread is the fact that the sticky comes from small drops of liquid on the silk. These small drops make an imperfection on the slick silk that the drop of water can hang on. Which also explains my next thought about the water, why is it so regularly spaced? Because the spider places the sticky drops evenly.

Of course, the trouble with that explanation is the fact that there are drops on the radial threads in this photo, albeit not as large and not as many. Perhaps there is some stickiness to all of the strands on this particular type of spider web? Or just other imperfections in the strand? Perhaps specks of dust?